Friday, January 6, 2012

On Penn & Teller's "Bullshit!"

I'm a fan of Penn and Teller.  But they are prestidigitators, and when prestidigitators begin uncovering so-called "bullshit" in their materialist, non-magickcal opinion, we need to ask ourselves if any prestidigitation per se is involved in their presentation.  Why should anyone trust prestidigitators? They are con artists par excellence, and have all kind of tricks up their sleeves, so to speak.

Bullshitters exposing bullshit ... do they use bullshit to do so?  Of course they do, it's what they do best. For example, take a corner of a sample space, and make it represent the whole picture, especially a goofy and stupid one.  It's one of the oldest tricks in the book, a rhetorical fallacy.  Label all phenomena bullshit from the outset and they take on the dull sheen of bullshit, every phenomenon is pre-colored and judged worthy of getting spewed.

But it's all just entertainment, right?  I don't think so, and it shows the arrogance typical of average herd mentality; everybody is an expert on everything, and even prestidigitators fall into the trap of scientism.  The idea of bullshitters exposing bullshit isn't all too convincing.  It's the most unimaginative and boring show Penn and Teller have ever put on.  Otherwise, I like those guys.